This marvelous good time of a movie is one of the first I remember falling in love with. We rented it on a Friday night at the behest of my dad and it was pure magic.
Everything, from the perfect comic timing to Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon’s shockingly fantastic drag to Marilyn Monroe’s deliciously sweet performance felt just right. It was the first screwball comedy I’d ever seen, a late one at that, and it seemed perfectly engineered to elicit peals of laughter.
I’m not sure that I was aware of the complex gender and sexual politics at the time. Maybe some little part of me appreciated the Shakespearean entanglements and risk at play. But now I am astounded at how well it all holds up. Throughout the film we suspend our disbelief, allowing ourselves the chance to identify with Daphne and Josephine alongside their male-presenting counterparts, understanding how they could get swept up in the charade and take something valuable–perhaps a better understanding of women, perhaps more sensitivity—away from the situation.